I Told My
Extra 42 Pounds To Take A Hike
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resourceJohn
Steward thought he was a healthy kind of guy.
He ate whole grains and low-fat food. He ran on a
regular basis. He worked as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health
Service. Yet, none of these things seemed to keep John from gaining weight.
(That's his BEFORE shot at right -- not bad, but not what John wanted.)
"I think there was a lot of denial," he tells
eDiets. "I wasnt paying attention to the scale. I felt I was leading an
active life and paying attention to my diet -- in the sense I didnt eat
red meat every meal.
"I reduced my fat intake where I could substitute
vegetables and whole grains. But I didnt pay attention to the other part
of it, which was the total amount of food I was taking in."
"I think men like me kind of deny what happens to
their body over time. They just arent observant to whats happening
to their body and their health. We like to think of ourselves as 25, eating and
drinking anything we want. But over 25 years or so, it catches up with you."
At 511" and 224 pounds, the Georgian who
works at the Centers for Disease Control never gave his weight a second
thought. But then last fall during a family vacation to the Grand Canyon,
reality came calling.
While he had no problem hiking to the bottom of
the canyon, John couldnt participate in every activity. There was a
200-pound weight restriction for anyone who wanted to ride the mules. Our
48-year-old featured eDieter was forced to sit this one out.... and that
prompted the realization he needed to do something about his weight.
There was another factor weighing heavily on
John: his annual work physical. At the weight he was when he turned to eDiets
for help, John was 10 pounds over the maximum for his job. His job wasn't in
jeopardy -- and he could still fit into his uniform -- but John faced the
frustrating fact he would no longer be allowed to respond to natural disasters
"I never thought of myself as a heavy person,"
John notes. "I had always pictured myself as physically active. My wife
Patricia and I had watched what we ate for a long time. Nonetheless, the scale
The public health official was lacking the structure
and guidance of an effective weight loss program. Then, while surfing the net
one day, John came across an eDiets banner and never looked back. It was the
pounds-shedding solution he'd been searching for.
"Just like the general public, people in public
health struggle with all sorts of lifestyle issues," John says. "Its a
hard thing for us too."
Johns biggest issue was portion control.
Sure he was eating healthy foods. But he would often eat them to excess.
eDiets came in. Thanks to the weekly menus and meal plans,
John became aware of proper portion sizes. In no time John became a slimming
superstar, dropping 42 pounds in just nine months. Today, hes fit and fabulous
at 182 pounds -- and he's still on the losing track, determined to whittle away
another 10 pounds.
In his quest to reach and maintain a healthier
weight, John was disciplined. He started each day with a hot cereal breakfast.
For lunch, he would cart a frozen entree to work. When it came time for dinner,
John, his wife Patricia and their 14-year-old son Andrew would feast on the
tasty eDiets recipes.
By taking the diet walk with her hubby, Patricia
has dropped an impressive 25 pounds, too!
John says he's never felt deprived. The Stewards
still dine out as a family, only less often. When they eat at a restaurant,
John and his family make healthier choices, share portions or cut them in half
and take the leftovers home for a second meal.
It is such health-conscious decisions that have
helped John shrink from 224 to 182 pounds in less than a year.
After revamping his diet, John turned his
attention to a fitness program. A seasoned runner for more than 20 years, John
had been running up to 45 minutes four times a week. Instead of relying on his
old regimen, he kicked it up a notch, joining a fitness center and adding
weight training three times a week.
John had all the motivation he needed to stay the
course. He'd agreed to go backpacking in New Mexico with his sons Boy
Scout Troop. The difference between the June excursion and the hiking trip last
November was the extra 30 pounds were now on his back rather than on his
"I wasnt thinking whether or not I could do
it, but how well I could keep up with 14- and 16-year-old boys," John recalls.
"Losing this weight prior to the backpacking trip made me feel more confident
and I completed the backpacking trip much more enjoyably than I would have
"Serious backpackers worry about something as
small as the weight of a toothbrush handle. If youre worrying about a
thing like that, it doesnt make much sense to have 40 pounds around your
John's original weight loss goal was 20 pounds.
He's gone above and beyond the call of dieting duty.
"Frankly, Ive exceeded my expectations. I
said I wanted to lose 20 pounds so I wasnt anywhere near obese, but I
actually surpassed that and have taken 20 years off."
John knows there are plenty of other men and
women who can benefit from eDiets.
"Get on the scale," he advises. "Take a look in
the mirror and face the reality that you're not 25 years old anymore. You need
some sort of help in improving your health and reducing your weight."
And John knows just the place where you can find